We’re fortunate to have Squamish as home base for blurr and to have many members of the local community engage with our company as employees, ambassadors, product testers, organisers of grass roots events that support outdoor sport or people wanting to chat more about what we do. All of it stems from the phenomenal geography that surrounds us and the resulting world class, accessible outdoor recreation that has developed as a result.
While we always try to be mindful of the impacts of our activities on these natural places, we’re in the midst of a prolonged period of dry weather that has our usually lush and resilient forests highly susceptible to damage. Combine this with what appears to be a spike in people seeking out the trails, boulders and crags that Squamish offers up and we thought it worthwhile to open a dialogue around minimizing impact.
We started by canvassing our local athlete ambassadors, frequent visitors to the areas and developers/trail builders for their thoughts and then organised them under the headings below. Not surprisingly, most of this represents the basics that we’re all familiar with; this is meant purely as a friendly reminder to give these areas special attention in their current condition.
From those we asked…
- Be mindful of where you walk, put your bags, and allow your pets. The forest life can be fragile and our mis-steps can damage it for years to come.
- Crashpads crush vegetation, please be careful when setting up under your chosen problem as they can easily cause unnecessary stress to plants.
- If you want to listen to music, make sure you don’t bother others. Maybe use headphones, or even just leave the music at home and listen to some of the awesome sounds nature makes.
- Many of the Squamish landings below boulders are irregular at best.. Be careful with your pad placement, be mindful of where you’re likely to fall, and make sure you ask for a spot if needed.
- Everyone is out there looking to have a great day in nature. Try not to disturb the enjoyment of others with yelling and loud music. Remember that the boulders are a public space for the enjoyment of everyone and monopolizing areas for long periods, without a welcoming attitude, is frowned upon.
Keep Things Tidy
- Keep the Leave No Trace principle in mind, packing out everything you pack in however small (tape, gum, toilet paper, wrappers, etc). Picking up and packing out things others forget is a tremendous help in maintaining the overall cleanliness.
- When you leave a boulder try to remember to brush off all tick marks and excess chalk. As well as being unsightly, it can take away from the problem-solving aspect of the climb for the next group of climbers.
- The park has a series of well-maintained outhouses for our use. They should be used exclusively and are much simpler to use than digging your own hole.
- Clean up after your pets. Make sure to bring some doggy bags and pack them out with you.
Don’t Jeopardize Access
- We are fortunate to have free access to the areas we enjoy, good stewardship works to maintain the access we enjoy.
- There is a well-established network of hiking and climber access trails in the park designed to minimize the impact on plant and wildlife habitat. Look for trail markers and avoid shortcuts and faint trails..
- Keep pets on a leash and be mindful of their behaviour. Pets shouldn’t be allowed to dig holes, chew on vegetation, approach others uninvited or run around off trail.
- Camping is not allowed in the park except for in the Chief campground.
- Campfires are not allowed in the park, and neither is drinking with both leading to potential conflicts with those that manage these spaces on our behalf.
Climbing’s history is driven by development and exploration by enthusiastic, passionate individuals guided by an often regional and unwritten code of conduct. Much of the work done to develop the areas we’re all enjoying has been in this spirit and it’s debate and discussion goes well beyond what we feel qualified to delve into however, a reminder about the basics can’t hurt…